Whether they work in the hospital or private practice, nurses play a vital role in the care of patients. Young and old depend on nurses for their medications, compassion, and direction during illnesses and hospital stays. What these prominent care providers don't want to admit is that they are struggling with their own mental health. Long hours, reduced staff, and demanding health care regulations make the shifts these caregivers work stressful and exhausting. A study conducted among intensive care unit (ICU) nurses found five common mental health issues among them. When you need to speak with a caring psychologist in Charlotte, NC make the right choice by call Legacy Freedom of Charlotte.
ICU nurses function in a work environment with high levels of stress. As a result, many of these nurses develop anxiety disorders as a response to the constant exposure to workplace stress. Nearly 42% of the nurses who were surveyed for this study admitted to suffering from severe anxiety levels during their work. The high levels of anxiety that nursing staff reported puts them at a higher risk for substance abuse issues, panic attacks, and depression.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The nurses surveyed reported experiencing symptoms that are related to PTSD as a result of their work environment. PTSD takes many forms and can include increased anxiety levels, a highly developed fight or flight response, and mood swings. Nearly 11% of ICU nurses met the criteria and acknowledged experiencing these symptoms during or after a shift. The emotional and physical strain that nurses undergo each day is tremendous and, as a result, PTSD is becoming more common among nurses.
High levels of workplace stress are common among ICU nurses. Almost 84% of the nurses who responded said that they regularly experience high levels of stress. From responding to codes to making life or death decisions for their patients, nurses endure significantly stressful situations during their shifts on a regular basis. Chronic exposure to stress can lead to physical ailments and increase the risk of developing depression or anxiety.
Depression usually results from another mental health condition like PTSD or anxiety. ICU nurses are three times more likely than the general population to develop depression. Due to concerns about being seen as unfit for duty or viewed as weak, many nurses don't acknowledge their feelings of depression and sadness.
Feeling like you're in a dream or that the actions you are carrying out are being done by someone else are examples of depersonalization. ICU nurses often pull back to back shifts and experience extreme exhaustion. High levels of stress and anxiety combined with the fatigue from the long shifts leads many nurses to feel this way. Increased feelings of anxiety and stress can make depersonalization even more serious, and more detrimental consequences to mental health can occur.
A Psychologist in Charlotte, NC for Nurses
Are you a nurse who is struggling with your mental health? Call a psychologist in Charlotte, NC that can help. We know it's not easy to pull long shifts and make life or death decisions for your patients. By combining traditional talk therapy treatments and alternative treatment methods, we have helped thousands of clients gain control of their mental health. Call or click today to connect with confidential and compassionate mental health care from Legacy Freedom.